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Downsize diktat in Rajasthan villages trims big fat Marwari weddings in Mumbai

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 31 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Big fat Marwari weddings are slimming down as rules imposed by community elders in towns and villages of south Rajasthan domino down to families from there settled across the country.

Rajasthani weddings are traditionally known for big-ticket spending, and families spending close to Rs 100 crore to get their daughters married is not unheard of. Now, the elders are trying to impress on the community that the enormous sums spent are a waste and the lavish trend leads to pressure being brought on brides' families though they may not have the means to splurge.

In Takhatgarh, Bali, Sadri and other villages in Rajasthan's Pali and Jalor districts, a uniform code of conduct has taken shape for weddings in families that hail from there. Penalties have been spelt out for violation of the rules, and include measures like social boycott and fines of up to Rs 50,000.

For instance, weddings of people who hail from Takhatgarh have to be solemnized only in the village. The rules limit the number of dhol players when the baraat arrives and the number of lights to be used in decorations. The wedding spread too has been downsized, with only two sweets and a basic fare allowed.

While Bali, in Pali district, has allowed weddings in Mumbai, it has limited celebrations to only once during the day. An evening reception after sunset has been banned. Families who host dinner events will be boycotted for three years and families attending it too will be boycotted for a year.

"These practices are very good as they help in controlling the expenses on weddings and also reduce the expectations that the groom's family may have from the bride's family," said Chintmani Jain, a Dadar resident, who says he will follow the rules when his daughter gets married next year.

Mumbai is home to a sizeable population of Marwaris concentrated in areas like Bhuleshwar, CP Tank and Walkeshwar, with interests in diamond, jewellery and textile. Many have diversified into stock markets and government contracts. Ties with their roots remain strong, and families that hail from these villages still abide by the elders' code.

"It's time that people realize that some expenses on weddings are a sheer waste. People have 20 types of sweets in their weddings but no one eats so many sweets. It's a total waste," said Premlata Jain, who hails from Takhatgarh.

While many Rajasthani weddings in Mumbai have been toned down with DJ parties or dandiya nights given the miss, some have found ways to circumvent the restrictions. For example, they invite people for the 'mamera' (usually a small function held by the groom's maternal uncle) and turning it into a dandiya night.

"When our daughter got married in April, we held a reception as it was the last wedding in our family. We knew we would not be invited to any other function in our village. None of the people from our village attended the reception. Only close relatives and people from other villages, who are not bound by these restrictions, attended the event," said Shantilal Jain (name changed), a resident of Byculla.

Resistance, particularly from the well-off, is growing, with some finding loopholes in the rules. Ignoring attempts to put an end to ostentatious weddings by elders of Sadri in Rajasthan's Falna district through norms like having only a small engagement party to which a maximum of 15 family members can be invited followed by one traditional wedding-phera party, a mega marriage function took place in the city recently.

"We tried to enforce the rules, but they fell through when the first wedding itself took place. Most people felt that the rules were unrealistic and weddings in the community have always been synonymous with luxury," said Kishore Jain, owner of Valchandson Jewellers, who hails from Sadri.

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Police to keep vigil on power thefts during Ganesh festival

MUMBAI: The Mumbai police will now be keeping a close vigil on power thefts.

"We have got assurance from Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria that his senior officers, including DCP (operations) and zonal DCPs will assist us in forming a special task force to curb electricity thefts during the ten-day Ganesh festival. It will be a major deterrent to offenders," said BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta, while speaking to media after the committee meeting on Tuesday.

"The deputy police commissioners will also check the pending cases on power thefts at every police station and expedite the probe/filing of chargesheets. We will also request the court to take such cases on a priority,'' he stated.

Gupta said that BEST has also asked for a list of all mandals which have got the police permission and this will be cross-checked with the list of those who have applied for the electricity connections. "If we find anyone in the police list who has not applied for power supply, we will issue showcause notice to such mandals and take stringent action,'' he stated.

Gupta further said that the power distribution losses had dropped to 7.5 recently, which was an indicator that the number of power thefts too had declined.

Though BEST books several Ganesh pandals for "illegal" electricity connections every year, it got just 12 convictions in past five years and 400 cases ending in acquittals.But this year, the BEST is in for good news -- the number of legitimate power connections has gone up from 900 mandals four years back to 1,250 mandals.

"We will also undertake the illumination of Girgaum chowpatty and 32 other immersion sites for the benefit of lakhs of devotees,'' he said. The BEST has already set up facilitation centres and helplines for the Sarvajanik mandals to cater to any power-related emergencies.

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 Maharashtra to take back 100 hectares allotted to Videocon

Clara Lewis, TNN | Aug 31, 2014, 07.04AM IST
MUMBAI: The City Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) has been allowed to take back 100 hectares allocated to Videocon at Navi Mumbai in 2008 to set up a TFT-LED plant.

The company was to be a join-venture between Cidco and Videocon. However, the latter was not inclined for a joint venture.

Since there had been little progress in even setting up the company the cabinet approved the proposal moved by Cidco to take back the land in a press release issued by the chief minister's office, the reason offered is that Cidco requires land for several important projects and hence the decision.


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Court grants man divorce over wife's demand for excessive sex

MUMBAI: A man, who sought separation from his wife alleging that she was aggressive and autocratic with an insatiable appetite for sex, was granted divorce by a family court here.

"Due to respondent's (wife's) non-appearance before the court, the petitioner's (husband's) evidence remains unchallenged on record. Hence this court has no option but to accept his evidence as it is and he is entitled to a decree of divorce as prayed," Principal Judge of family court, Laxmi Rao ruled in a recent order.

The husband had approached the family court in January, saying that his wife was "adamant, aggressive, stubborn and autocratic" and would pick up quarrels for no reason.

The man, in his petition told the court that she was showing an "excessive and insatiable desire for sex" and harassed him since their marriage in April 2012.

He also alleged that she administered him medicines and also forced him to consume liquor.

The husband alleged that she used to force him into having unnatural sex and whenever he tried to resist it, she would abuse him following which he had to succumb to her pressure and persistent demands.

He told the court that he worked in three shifts leaving him very tired, and even then he was compelled to satisfy her 'lust'.

The woman even went to the extent of threatening him that if her demands are not fulfilled, she will go to another man, without caring for his emotions and feelings, the court was told.

In December 2012, the man had to be hospitalised for a stomach ache during which she chose to go her sister's place, only to return after two weeks, the petition said.

Though doctors advised him to stay away from any physical relationship for a while, the wife kept up with her sexual demands, even as his health deteriorated for lack of rest, the petition submitted.

Further he said that in October 2013 he was operated for appendicitis and after discharge his wife insisted that they stay with her sister and even there, she forced him into having intercourse.

According to him, his wife even refused to visit a psychiatrist and threatened him against revealing anything to anybody.

In the petition, he said that it was intolerable for him to bear any more atrocities and that he also apprehended danger to his life and limb.

He said his wife has made his life horrible with her "cruel behaviour" and her "excessive prank for sex" has made it difficult for him to live together with her under one roof.

Judge Rao allowed the petition and dissolved the man's marriage.

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Man duped Rajasthan hospital, used money to buy film rights

MUMBAI: Investigations into the fixed deposit cash-credit scam have found that the accused had duped a Rajasthan-based charitable hospital of Rs 10 crore. The money earned by the accused through illegal means, say investigators, was used in partnership in a hotel in Goa and buying rights of old Hindi movies.

The city Economic Offences Wing (EOW) is probing nine cases of cheating and forgery against a syndicate of conmen including Mohammed Fasih, chairman and managing director of the Showman Group that runs the countrywide Sheesha lounge chain, Anil Pawar, Roy Joseph Thomas and Avinash Khandale, all three self-proclaimed investment consultants.

On July 28, Abhay Shah, managing director of M/s P G Group lodged an FIR with the Marine Drive police and the case was transferred to the EOW. The economic wing officers now found that Khandale had approached the P G Group's Marine Drive office and offered high returns on fixed deposits in nationalized banks. He also convinced the directors of the firm for huge investment. Subsequently, firms run by PG Group like PG Foils Pvt Ltd, Trinumala Iron Pvt Ltd, Prem Cables and Paras Raj Bohra Memorial Trust's hospital invested money. All the four companies had collectively invested Rs 141.8 crore in FDs.

"The hospital was started for poor people in the Piplya Kalan village, Raipur taluka (district Pali) in Rajasthan. The P G Group had made a separate corpus to fund the hospital and from this corpus Rs 10 crore was invested in a nationalized bank's Goregaon branch," said an investigating officer. The accused forged papers and using them they took cash-credit facility loan from the bank. In cash-credit, loan can be obtained upto 90 per cent of the total investment.

The police said it was scanning the role of some employees of certain banks and if their roles emerged they will also be arrested. "We have compiled a list of such bank employees who handled FDs and cash-credit departments besides the verification of documents. We have summoned some of them and if their role arises, they will be placed under arrest," the officer said. All the arrested accused are currently in Arthur Road jail.

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No clue on escaped terror operative's whereabouts

MUMBAI: The police is still clueless about the whereabouts of a 35-year-old terror suspect in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, a week after he jumped off a moving train near Raigarh in Chattisgarh and fled while he was being brought from Kolkata to Mumbai for trial.

The suspect, Shaikh Abdul Naeem alias Karim alias Sameer alias Nayyu, was first arrested in the arms haul case in 2007. He was taken in the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) custody on a transit remand from the Kolkata police where he was arrested in 2006 for allegedly sending SIMI recruits to Pakistan via Bangladesh for terror training.

"Naeem has escaped from the police custody while being brought to Mumbai," confirmed Himanshu Roy, additional director general of police, ATS. Naeem, accused number 18 in the arms haul case, was to be produced before the MCOCA court in the Arthur Road jail premises on Tuesday for trial. He has given his confession before the police in this case.

Naeem was being escorted by four West Bengal policemen in the Howrah-Mumbai Superfast Mail when he jumped off the train between Kharsiya and Shakti railway stations on Sunday. He is facing a case of crossing the border in West Bengal and was lodged in Kolkata's Dumdum jail since late 2006. "He is alleged to have been sending new SIMI recruits to a neighboring country for terror training. He had also assisted some boys, accused in the arms haul case, to reach to Pakistan's training camps, said an ATS officer. In 2006, Naeem was in Bangladesh when the ATS first nabbed three persons at Manmad-Chandav highway in May for transporting illegal weapons. Police had colletively recovered 16 AK-46 rifles, 3,200 live bullets, 50 hand grenades from over a dozen accused. "One of my friends Amjad had given me Rs 1.35 lakh in Dhaka in 2006 while I was leaving for India," Naeem said in his confession.

It is note worthy that a suspected Indian Mujahideen operative, Afzal Usmani, who is also accused of planting explosive laden car in Gujarat for bomb blasts, escaped from Mumbai Sessions court in September 2013 and was arrested a month later from Nepal.

After Naeem's escape, the Kolkata police lodged a complaint with the Government Railway Police at Raigarh.

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Two seats for every Maratha, Muslim engineering applicant

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 29 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The newly-introduced reservations for Maratha and Muslim candidates in education have made it trivially easy for them to get into engineering and pharmacy colleges. For every "lateral applicant" this year for these programmes, government statistics show, there are about two seats available.

Within days of the state carving up 16% quota for Marathas and 5% quota for Muslims in government jobs and education, the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) implemented them for diploma holders' lateral entry into second-year engineering and pharmacy degree courses. The windfall has severely cut competition: there are far fewer candidates seeking admission now than there are seats for them.

Of the more than 1 lakh second-year engineering seats up for grabs, the government is responsible for filling 98,261 through its common admission process. As a result of the reservations, there are 15,722 seats for socially and educationally backward Marathas and 4,913 seats for Muslims in second-year engineering. But their respective number of applicants is just 9,613 and 384.

Similarly, for second-year pharmacy, the overall tally of seats is 4,640. But the figure of Maratha and Muslim applicants for the programme is merely 180 and three, respectively.

"We implemented the quota this year because it was cleared by the state Cabinet before we started the admission process. The process can begin only after the university results for first-year pharmacy and engineering are declared. That will give a clear idea of the seats available in second year," said DTE director S K Mahajan.

In June, the Maharashtra government cleared additional 21% quota for the politically influential Maratha community and for Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions, taking the total reservation in the state to 73%. Reservation already existed among OBCs for a section of Marathas known as Kunbis. Maratha Kunbis, who are largely agriculturists, make up 31.5% of the total Maratha population and have a large presence in Vidarbha and Konkan. "These students apply separately under the OBC quota," said an official.

Though limited in implementation this year, the 16% Maratha and 5% Muslim reservations will be extended to all courses in 2015. Social scientists say that candidates' response in the new quotas' first year cannot indicate if the reservations are essential. Nor can it help in predicting a pattern for the years to come. "However, the reservation may not stand the test of legal scrutiny," said a faculty of Mumbai University.

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Mumbaikars to get extra buses on busy routes, new services

MUMBAI: Commuters can soon expect more buses on busy routes and some new services as the transport undertaking plans to increase its fleet utilization.

"The computerized scheduling system has led to effective management of the workforce and saved 4% manpower cost. This will help us launch more buses on roads," said a senior BEST official. "There is a general apprehension among workers that they may be retrenched, but this is untrue. The drivers can be used to ply additional buses depending on commuters' demand," he added.

BEST officials said passengers can send feedback on the need for new routes across Mumbai. Suggestions can be dispatched to the BEST headquarters at Electric House Colaba or emailed on probestundertaking@gmail.com. In the past, there was huge resistance to the new computerized scheduling system. "On April 1 and 2, the drivers/conductors had gone on a 36-hour flash strike," said BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta. "However, we convinced the union about the benefits of the system. We had also taken into account the working hours of drivers and this was acceptable to all unions. Today, the scheduling system is being successfully implemented at all the depots. Due to this, we expect to save around Rs 32 crore annually in terms of saving costs and manpower," he said.

Gupta agreed that drivers can be deployed on few other routes due to better mapping of manpower. "The fleet utilization has already gone up from 89 % to 92 % recently," Gupta said. The BEST also plans to curtail some of its long-distance routes and operate shorter routes connecting key areas.

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‘Sacked’ medical council chief still in office

MUMBAI: A week after medical education minister Jeetendra Awhad ordered to sack him within 24 hours, Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) president Kishore Taori continues in his post.

"I am still the MMC's president. I haven't received any communication from the minister or the state medical education department. If the order is served, then I will take legal recourse to it," Taori told TOI on Thursday.

After the controversy over the derecognition College of Physicians, Awhad had given directives to Taori but found that no steps were taken by the MMC and Taori to implement the orders. "It appears that Taori is deliberately not following the state government's orders and that he has adopted delaying tactics," Ahwad had said on August 20. In a strongly worded two-page order, Awhad pointed out that despite the fact that it was found that Taori had submitted incorrect information to the government during his departmental probe, no action was taken against him.

Awhad passed an order, stating that since he is deliberately disobeying the government's order, he should be sacked from the MMC president's post within 24 hours and the charge should be handed over to MMC vice-president Avinash Yelikar. Awhad asked the medical education department to submit the action taken report in the Taori episode within 48 hours. Awhad also said since Taori had not obtained the government's permission while contesting the MMC election, his membership should be cancelled in 24 hours.

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List measures taken to prevent Ebola, HC tells govts

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the state government and the Centre to detail precautions they are taking to prevent the possible spread of the Ebola virus. A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Girish Kulkarni heard a PIL by activist Ketan Tirodkar stating that the government is ill-equipped to deal with Ebola and urged for a ban on passengers alighting from the aircraft at the international airport.

When the judges questioned what precautions the Centre is taking, its advocate Rui Rodrigues answered, "The government is totally seized of the matter." The judges pointed out that "there are so many planes landing at the airport." They also produced material sourced from a health website showing the effects of Ebola. "See the manner in which the disease is spreading. Is this not serious?'' asked Justice Oka. Rodrigues said he will take instructions and place on record the steps taken by the Centre. "Tell us in black and white what you are doing," said Justice Oka.

The judges also questioned the state government. "Is any action taken today by the state? The state has a role to play. If passengers have to be sent to a quarantine, it has to be taken by the state," said Justice Oka. The judges said the Centre's jurisdiction will extend to airport and its operations, "When passengers come out , it is the province of the state, which has to take action," said Justice Oka.

Justice Kulkarni pointed out that frisking of passengers is done at the airport by CISF personnel. Tirodkar submitted some countries have banned passengers from alighting from the flights. "They are quarantined and medically checked. Passengers need not be taken out till then," he added.

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Maharashtra Congress poll manifesto draft to be finalized by September 5

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra unit of the Congress, which is in the process of scrutinising candidates for the forthcoming state assembly elections, will finalise its draft manifesto by September 5, the party officially announced here on Thursday.

A meeting of the Congress manifesto committee was chaired by former Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde at Tilak Bhavan, which is the Congress Maharashtra state unit headquarters here, today morning, party sources said.

Shinde has created three "sub-groups" entrusting the task of identifying issues concerning Mumbai to city unit chief Janardhan Chandurkar, party sources said.

Maharashtra health minister Suresh Shetty will head the sub-group on health-related issues, while member of legislative council Anant Gadgil will head the sub-group on youth and youth-related issues, party sources said.

Rajya Sabha MP Balchandra Mungekar has been asked to co-ordinate between all the three sub-groups. Sources said that these sub-groups have been asked to submit their suggestions by September 2. "The draft manifesto is likely to be finalised by September 5," sources said.

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Maharashtra department drops move to float irrigation tenders before polls

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra water resources department has developed cold feet about hurriedly floating irrigation tenders worth Rs 1,000 crore in the run-up to the assembly elections following a TOI expose last week.

Water resources minister Hasan Mushrif told TOI on Thursday that he will not approve the new contracts. "I am not going to do anything illegal," he said, adding that the proposal was anyway not put up before him for approval. "If it comes, I will send it back." Last week the executive director of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) R B Shukla said the file had been sent to the minister for his signature.

The expose, front-paged on August 23, revealed that the VIDC had prepared a tender list for canal work for the Gosikhurd national irrigation project near Nagpur without the mandatory land acquisition or environmental clearances. These permissions had been made compulsory for the awarding of a tender based on the recommendations of the Chitale Committee, set up to probe the 2009 irrigation scam.

With the latest re-think, TOI reports over the past 1.5 months have succeeded in forcing the state government to halt doling out irrigation contracts collectively worth Rs 1,800 crore before the election code of conduct comes into play.

In its July 18 edition, this newspaper had exposed the water conservation department hurriedly floating tenders for minor irrigation projects worth Rs 800 crore on just two days in June. These works were for the Thane irrigation circle only. The tenders were to be awarded to private contractors by July end. But following the expose, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan cancelled the tenders.

In the 2009 irrigation scam (first exposed by this newspaper in 2012), which led to deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar stepping down briefly, projects worth thousands of crores were doled out to select contractors by flouting norms. Whistle-blower Vijay Pandhare had claimed that half of the Rs 70,000 crore spent on irrigation projects in the past decade was either siphoned off or wasted on dud projects. Insiders alleged that for every contract around 7% of its cost is demanded as kickback from contractors.

Last week the Supreme Court upheld the Bombay high court's decision to admit a public interest litigation seeking a probe into the irrigation scam. The PIL, filed by Nagpur-based NGO Jan Manch in 2012, pertained to irregularities and corruption in irrigation projects executed by the VIDC in Vidarbha.

With the election code of conduct expected to be announced any day, sources said there is a flurry of activity in various state departments, such as urban development and revenue, to push through long-pending proposals, raising eyebrows at the unusual hurry.

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Corporators want free sea link ride, ticketless entry into national park

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 28 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: After getting free AC bus passes, corporators want a toll-free travel on Bandra-Worli Sea Link and also free visits to Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

At present, one-way toll for the sea link is Rs 55 and for two-way, it is Rs 83, while the national park charges Rs 50 to allow vehicle inside and Rs 15 per person as entry fee. According to the demands made at the general body meeting on Wednesday, corporators want both the toll and national park fee to be waived. The city has 227 corporators.

BJP's Gyanmurti Sharma demanded that corporators should be exempted from paying toll on the sea link. "Corporators use the sea link to reach the BMC headquarters for public purpose and not for personal use. So we should be exempted from paying the toll," said Sharma, who was supported by Shiv Sena's Trushna Vishwasrao. Former Congress corporator Ajit Raorane in 2011 had also raised the same demand.

Sunil Prabhu, who presided over the meeting for the last time as the mayor, left the discussion for a few minutes and on returning, claimed that the authority concerned had accepted the demands. He announced that only one vehicle of a corporator, which will have a special sticker on it, will not have to pay the sea link toll. The final order on the toll, however, has not come in yet.

Sena leader Trushna Vishwasrao also demanded that a corporator's vehicle be granted an exemption from buying tickets to Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Prabhu, however, said the civic administration should take up the matter with the authorities concerned.

MNS leaders seemed more brazen than the others. "Our party corporators don't pay toll, so it does not make any difference to us. We had appealed that no one should pay at any toll naka, whether it is at the sea link or on a highway," said MNS leader in the BMC Sandeep Deshpande.

Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota, who was present at the meeting, did not reply to the demands.

TIMES VIEW:

Corporators are elected to work for the city and its citizens, not to get free entry into the Sanjay Gandhi National Park or a toll-free ride on the sea link. This demand is as undignified as it is preposterous and needs to be binned.

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Poor response forces BEST to scrap two Freeway buses

MUMBAI: Two fast-track bus routes were introduced via the Eastern Freeway to encourage citizens to use public transport while travelling from SoBo to the suburbs. But the BEST has now been forced to yank off the two services from EFW because of "poor response".

According to the officials, the routes—an air-conditioned bus A-8 from Electric House in Colaba to Mulund check naka via EFW and a C-9 from S P Mukherjee Chowk (near Regal Cinema) to Ghatkopar—will be scrapped from Thursday.

"We launched the two routes based on a survey conducted by the BEST and the demand made by a group of citizens. But in reality, we found that these buses were plying almost empty on several occasions, which is why we have decided to discontinue the service," the official said.

Transport expert Ashok Datar said BEST should have created awareness before launching buses on EFW. The public response has also been poor on other routes, two of them being Metro feeder routes. "We plan to continue services for six more months on Metro feeder routes," an official said.

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2-year-old girl dragged away by leopard

MUMBAI: A two-year-old girl from a tribal village in Wada fell prey to a leopard on Wednesday and she is yet to be found. None of the forest guards or officials, who have been on strike since Tuesday, turned up to help villagers look for the child, despite being told about the incident.

Sonali Bhoir (2) and Avinash Bhoir (6) from the area were playing outside their home at Ghoong village in Palghar district around 9am when villagers heard the boy scream. As they rushed out, he said a leopard had dragged Sonali away by her right arm. After alerting cops, villagers went looking for the girl, but all they could find were a blood trail and leopard's pug marks. Villagers had told forest officials about a leopard being sighted there recently. Inspector S Hazare said national park officials have been asked to provide a cage. No leopard attack in the area was reported in past years.


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Dying declaration cannot be made in kin, friend’s presence

MUMBAI: No relative or friend should be present while the dying declaration of a victim is recorded, the Bombay high court has said.

A division bench of Justice Vijaya Kapse Tahilramani and Justice A R Joshi acquitted a mother-son duo from Pune of bride burning charges, saying the victim's dying statement was tainted as her mother was present when it was recorded.

"A dying declaration is relevant and material evidence in the prosecution of assailants. A truthful and reliable dying declaration may form the sole basis of conviction, even though it is not corroborated. But the court must be satisfied that it is truthful," said the bench.

"While recording a dying declaration, it is necessary to ensure that only the person recording it and maybe the medical officer should be present. No relative or friend of the victim or anyone else should be present. This is to ensure that the victim is not tutored or deterred while making the dying declaration. These are the essentials to attach credibility to the declaration," said the court.

The HC was hearing appeals filed by Pune's Santosh Vaidu (32) and his mother Alkabai (64), challenging a 2012 trial court's order convicting them of murdering his wife Sunita. The couple got married in 2006, and according to the complaint, she was harassed. On June 6, 2011, the police claimed Sunita's mother-in-law poured kerosene on her when she was sleeping and Sanosh set her ablaze. Sunita, in her dying declaration, named her husband and mother-in-law as the accused. A court in 2012 sentenced the two to life imprisonment.

But the HC said the dying declaration mentioned that Sunita's mother was present when it was recorded. "From the fact that Sunita's mother Lata was present when the dying declaration was recorded, we find it unsafe to rely on it."

Pointing out there was no other credible witness, the HC acquitted the mother-son duo.

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Over 500 kg of gold seized at Mumbai airport in five months

MUMBAI: Gold worth Rs 3 crore was seized in three separate smuggling cases by Customs officials at Mumbai airport on Tuesday. With the latest seizures, the gold seized this month has crossed 100 kg. From April to July, the Customs had seized 405 kg of gold as compared to the 62 kg seized during the same time period last year.

In the first case, the passenger, identified as Khalou Asmae, a Moroccon national who had arrived from Dubai, was found to be carrying eight gold bars weighing about 8 kg and valued at Rs 2.08 crore. "The gold was concealed inside the pocket of her pants. She had worn a burkha over it. Her friend, from Egypt, who is the owner of gold, was also apprehended," said a customs official.

In the second case, a passenger, Hurzuk Shajahan Hajimiya who flew in from Sharjah, was found to be carrying seven gold bars weighing a total 816 gm and valued at Rs 21.3 lakh. He, too, had concealed the metal in his pocket. In the third case, the passenger, identified only as Huzaifa and his family of four, who had arrived from Dubai, had crude gold chains worth Rs 67.24 lakh weighing about 2.5 kg. With these seizures, the gold confiscated this month has touched 107 kg.


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Two teachers held for abetment of suicide of three Virar school students

MUMBAI: Two teachers of the Vagad Gurukul International School have been arrested for abetment of the suicide of three students, whose bodies were found in a river on Wednesday after they allegedly fled from the school hostel on Monday.

The Virar police has booked the teachers under sections 305 (abetment of suicide of child), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon or means) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. They have also been booked under section 23 (punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of the Children) Act.

The bodies of Meet Chhadwa, Prahul Patel and Khushal Dagha were found floating in the Sukh river behind the school in Sakwar village of Virar (east). The boys had fled from the hostel on Monday night after being allegedly thrashed by their teachers. Students of the school told the police that the Sanskrit and PT teachers often hit the students.


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MFs fall back on closed-ended funds

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 27 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Prompted by Indian investors' inability to stay invested in equity funds for several years and also their record of entering these funds when the market is peaking and redeeming when the market is at a low, fund houses have been mobilizing money through closed-ended funds. Dalal Street's expectation of a strong turnaround in the economy too is prompting fund houses to mobilize money from investors through closed-ended funds so that they can ride the bull rally, top fund managers said.

Over the last one year, about 35 closed-ended schemes have mobilized over Rs 6,000 crore, while a couple of schemes — one each from UTI Mutual Fund and ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund — are currently open for subscription.

Closed-ended schemes are those in which the fund house mobilizes funds during the new fund offer (NFO) period and then the fund manager manages it for the duration of the schemes, usually three years or more. In these funds, investors do not get the chance to exit during the tenure of the fund except through the stock market, where all these funds are listed. Since investors cannot redeem as and when they want, fund managers enjoy more liberty in managing their portfolio and also have higher responsibility to deliver a superior return, industry officials said.

"We wish to give a better experience to investors (in terms of returns), so we have launched closed-ended funds with dividend options," said S Naren, chief investment officer, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, which has launched eight closed-ended funds so far in the last one year. Its ICICI Prudential Value Fund Series 5 is closing on Tuesday. "We started when the market (benchmark indices) was much lower and we believe we will be able to give good returns to investors," Naren said.

UTIMF's Focused Equity Fund Series I is closing on Wednesday. "The fund is taking a concentrated exposure in stocks to maximize benefit from the recovery in the economic cycle, which we believe should play out over the next few years," said Lalit Nambiar, fund manager and head (research), UTI Mutual Fund. "Returns in equity are non-linear and to capture them one needs patience and discipline, which is ensured by a closed-ended structure," Nambiar said.

In the last few months, fund houses like SBI MF, Sundaram MF, Birla Sun Life MF, LIC Nomura MF and Reliance MF have launched closed-ended funds while several more are in the pipeline, fund industry officials said.

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Beethoven bonanza, Mozart night in 10-day NCPA season

Four evenings of Beethoven is a thrill that, in Mumbai, one usually has on headphones and speakers. For the fever of listening live, one needs investing in a week in Vienna, Berlin or London. But those without a fortune to spare need no longer despair: they can 'seize fate by the throat' right here at the NCPA.
Kreutzer, Eroica and Emperor, monikers that make up the dreams of every Beethoven lover, as also Spring and Tempest, will constitute the mainstays of the Symphony Orchestra of India's Autumn 2014 Season.
"Usually people say sex sells, but in the Western music world, we say Beethoven sells," says the orchestra's music director, Marat Bisengaliev. Jokes apart, "this programme is dedicated to (NCPA founder) Dr Jamshed Bhabha on his 100th birth anniversary. He loved Beethoven, a love shared by many".
The 10-day season, between September 2 and 30, will also have an all-Mozart evening, with Maria Joao Pires, one of the greatest interpreters of the composer, playing his Piano Concerto No 9. She will also perform Tempest (Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 17), and, along with another pianist, Schubert's Fantasy in F minor (one piano, two pianists).
Another acclaimed artiste to grace the season will be French violinist Augustin Dumay, who will perform Mozart's Violin Concerto No 3 on September 23 and two days later Dvorak's Bagatelles (with another violinist, a cellist and a pianist), Franck's Violin Sonata and Beethoven's Archduke Trio. Also on the season's programme are Britten, Bartok, Debussy, Mendelssohn, Sibelius and Schubert.
The Lisbon-born Pires, who now lives in Brazil, used to be a child prodigy; she gave her first public performance, of Mozart's piano concertos, at the age of seven. She is particularly loved for her recording of Chopin's nocturnes, where she achieves rare depths of emotion. Though Chopin is not on the season's programme, music lovers will hope for a nocturne or two to be in the encores.
Dumay, who with Pires, has had one of the most successful violin-piano pairings, was tutored in two of music's best string traditions: the Franco-Belgian, under Arthur Grumiaux, and the Russian, from Nathan Milstein. Not one to be restricted by the classical canon, he has also collaborated with greats like violinist Stephane Grappelli, and guitarists John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia.
Twenty-eight works by ten composers over nine days and a tenth day of a vocal recital. Is this being overtly adventurous? Not at all, says Bisengaliev. "I am surprised by the amount of music my friends in Mumbai listen to. Not like us musicians, for whom silence becomes precious."

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Maharashtra govt suspends rape-accused DIG Sunil Paraskar

MUMBAI: Deputy inspector general of police Sunil Paraskar, accused of raping a model, was suspended on Tuesday to facilitate an "impartial" departmental probe into the allegation that he misused his office.

The state home department had recommended Paraskar's suspension, which was approved by chief minister Prithivraj Chavan. "The proposal to suspend him was sent to the chief minister. The CM signed the file and send it back to the home department," a source in the CM's office said.

A cop said: "We have been verbally told that he has been suspended, but we are yet to receive the order." He added that Paraskar, who is due to retire in 2016, will be suspended for at least 6 months and a departmental inquiry will be conducted against him. The suspension was based on many grounds and after "examination of call records, witness statements".

Paraskar's legal team on Tuesday questioned the move, pointing out that the court is apprised of the case and has granted him anticipatory bail. "You cannot condemn a person without allowing him an opportunity to be heard. It will demoralize the force," Paraskar's lawyer Rizwan Merchant said.

But a senior Mantralaya official countered, "Suspension is not a punishment but a measure to insulate and ensure an impartial probe. An IPS officer has been accused of behaviour unbecoming of his position. It is necessary to allow the inquiry to progress without any threat or intimidation."

A home department source added: "Director general of police Sanjeev Dayal gave his consent for the departmental inquiry, so we recommended Paraskar's suspension on Monday. The inquiry will look into the allegations of misconduct."

The model has accused Paraskar of molesting and sexually assaulting her on December 1 and 7, 2013, in a bungalow at Madh Island and a flat in Navi Mumbai. She said she first met him in 2012, when he was additional commissioner, for help as somebody had uploaded her profile on an escort service site.

"Every IPS officer has to abide by a code. There are accusations that Paraskar lavished gifts on the model and that he travelled with her in his official vehicle. We will have to look into all these issues," another Mantralaya official said.


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Shah Rukh Khan gets extra cover after Pujari threat

MUMBAI: Police have beefed up security at the residence and office of actor Shah Rukh Khan after fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari mentioned the actor's name in an SMS threat issued to film producer Karim Morani and followed it up with a threat call to the actor's office.

The threats came after three unidentified men from the Pujari gang fired three rounds outside Morani's Juhu residence on Saturday.

Morani, seen as being close to Shah Rukh Khan, runs one of Bollywood's biggest event management companies, Cineyug Entertainment, which organizes shows abroad for the major stars.

A police officer said the gangster wanted Shah Rukh to stage a foreign show for his friend for free. The actor is in the process of organizing shows to promote his upcoming movie abroad, and Pujari felt these shows were being handled by Morani's company. Though Morani made it clear that his company was not involved, Pujari refused to believe him and first threatened one of Morani's relatives before asking shooters to fire outside the producer's home, the officer said.

(Film producer Karim Morani )
After Saturday's incident, the gangster sent an SMS threat to Morani in which he mentioned Shah Rukh's name, sources said.

On Tuesday, Pujari called on the office number of Shah Rukh's production house, Red Chillies Entertainments, at Santa Cruz (West), and reportedly asked the office staff to warn the actor that he should keep a distance from some Pakistan-based gangsters.

A special team has been formed under the leadership of senior police inspector of Juhu police station, Abhay Shastri, to track down the men who fired at the producer's home. Crime branch teams too are on the lookout.

At around 11pm on Saturday, Pujari's three associates on a motorcycle slowed down before the Morani family's four-storey house in Juhu, shot three rounds and sped away. One bullet scraped a sedan parked outside and got lodged into a tree. The rest hit a window. Nobody was injured. The next morning, the guards noticed the graze mark on the vehicle and the crack in the window and informed Juhu police.

Morani, who was executive producer of Shah Rukh Khan's film 'Ra.One' and co-produced his 'Chennai Express,' runs Cineyug Entertainment along with his brothers Ali and Mohammad.

Though their family business is fireworks, the Moranis became Bollywood's leading star concert organizers in the 1980s and '90s and enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the business until G S Entertainment run by Sohail Khan and Wizcraft came along to organize similar stage shows.

They got into film production in the mid-1980s, with Karim taking the lead in producing movies such as Yodhaa, Dushmani, Arjun and Damini featuring his classmate Sunny Deol. Their film Raja Hindustani, starring Aamir Khan, became a huge box office success, but their main source of revenue until the mid-90s continued to be their global concerts. Their luck at the box office ended in the wake of movies such as Dum featuring Vivek Oberoi and Hum Ko Tumse Pyaar Hai, which had Arjun Rampal and Bobby Deol in it.

The family, however, bounced back, and today, Karim Morani is seen as SRK's alter ego and is currently working as co-producer on Red Chillies' film Happy New Year. Karim's daughter Zoa made her debut as an actress in Always Kabhi Kabhi, a film produced by Shah Rukh's home banner in 2011.

In June 2011, Karim was sent to Tihar jail for his alleged involvement in the 2G scam. He was accused of facilitating the transfer of Rs 200 crore to DMK-run Kalaignar TV and pocketing Rs 6 crore.


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Bodies of 3 classmates believed to have absconded found in river near Mumbai

MUMBAI: The bodies of three students who allegedly ran away from their residential school in Virar on Monday were found in a nearby river.

The students — Meet Chhadwa, Prahul Patel and Khushal Dagha — all aged 14, of Vagad Gurukul International School at Sakwar village on the National Highway, allegedly escaped from their school hostel on August 25. A missing complaint was registered by the school management with Virar police.

On Wednesday morning, police were informed of two bodies floating in the river near the school. The police reached the spot and removed the bodies. The third body was also found later.

The bodies were identified by the school authorities and families of the students.

The bodies have been taken to the Virar primary health centre for autopsy.

The residential school for boys has been operational since June 2004. It has classes from sixth to 12th.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the boys may have been scolded by the teacher.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=residential school in Virar,Virar police,Vagad Gurukul International School


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Sonakshi Sinha launches Swatch Fall-Winter 2014 collection in Mumbai

The story of Swatch is the story of a revolution. It introduced a new language, a way to speak from the heart without words. A Swatch watch is an expression of joy, a provocative statement. Today, the revolution continues: Swatch talks and everyone understands.
Sun-dripped adventures that speckle the summer months fade away as Swatch celebrates the Fall-Winter Collection 2014. The new collection was unveiled by the stunning Bollywood Diva Sonakshi Sinha at an exclusive event at the Palladium Hotel.
Expressing her delight and excitement having unveiled the new collection, Sonakshi said, "It is great to be a part of such a great brand like Swatch and reveal their new collection. Along the way to brand-name stardom, Swatch has established an enviable reputation as an all-round innovator in the watch industry. The new collection is vibrant, colorful and surrealistic and draws inspiration from all encounters and experiences. The collection is great for anyone who is experimental with their sense of style and fashion".
The brand's new collection highlights its spirit of innovation, expanding range of shapes, and inventive designers take advantage of everything technology offers. This collection proves that there are Swatch watches for people of all ages and for every occasion. The Fall-Winter 2014 Collection:
A World In Colors Classic Let It Shine High-Lands Mix
A World In Colors
A World In Colors comes with funky color blocks and vibrant hues that play with shapes. Inspired by a rainbow's extended playlist of light and color, these playful models are soaked in vibrancy. These watches include pieces in various color mixtures like APPLETINI, BANANA SHAKE, BACKUP BLUE, and CRANBERRY LINK. Some other interesting features encompass multicolored geometric patterns and multicolored circle prints. CHROMATIC WATER is a coveted piece with a transparent plastic dial with multicolored prints.
Classic
The Classic theme struts its stuff with dapper designs and a dash of retro. With the suave characteristics of a rugged gentleman from a previous era, the Classic models let you get in touch with your inner grown-up - the one with the classic sense of style and attractive confi-dence. The timeless Classic collection involves pieces like PRISONER, ALBINOSTRICH and ROSSO FUOCO.

Let It Shine Winter takes over when sparkles come out to play with Let It Shine, born to be the center of attention with head-turning metallic glitz, glam and pizzazz. These models light up the city with an element of brilliance that's fit for a queen. These pieces can be worn to make a style statement, for example DREAM NIGHT 14 ROSE, GOLDEN COVER, BLUE WIN and HEXED.

High-Lands Mix
High-Lands Mix shouts from the top of its plaid-striped lungs that wild designs never go out of fashion. Models with cozy patterns give cool a new name with head-turning style that boldly proclaims winter has arrived. Drawing inspiration from the Scottish boarding school time, COLOR-KILT, SUMMER SOCKS and MCPATTERN reveal their multicolored printed dials and bracelets. SPEED COUNTER and GENERATION 31 echo details like a bezel with anodized white aluminum or a sun-brushed gold color dial with perforations.

From the original cult plastic watches, Swatch has diversified its offerings considerably, and has continued to push the limits of technology, introducing an astonishing range of materials from plastic, stainless steel and aluminium to synthetic fabrics, rubber and silicone.


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After mishap, RTO urges parents to send kids only in authorized vehicles

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 26 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Regional transport offices on Monday urged parents against sending their children to schools by private vans and mini buses, which are not authorized by institutes and transport department.

The directive comes after an accident in which a schoolgirl suffered cuts on her chin when a van ferrying kids brushed past the auto she was travelling in with her grandfather. All the children are students of St Xavier's School in Bhandup (W) and the incident took place at the Kanjurmarg junction.

"The kid suffered a minor chin injury and she was administered first aid immediately. No one suffered major injuries. She, with her grandfather, was headed for school in an auto when the van brushed past it," DCP Vinaykumar Rathod told TOI. The van was ferrying five or six children. Parksite police senior inspector Suresh Sakpal, who visited the spot, said, "The girl's parents denied lodging any complaint. Even no dairy entry was made," Sakpal said.

The van ferrying the kids was not in contract with the school. "We have school buses but some parents opt for private vans that are cheaper. But when they do so, the safety of those kids is their parents' responsibility," said a St Xavier's School official.

The accident has once again raised the concern about the safety of children travelling in small vehicles, many of them plying illegally. MMRTA secretary B I Ajri said, "Vans and mini-buses that do not have an agreement with schools and are not authorized by MMRTA/RTO are illegal. Parents hire vans to send their children to school but that is risky as these vehicles do not have security measures. Moreover, if there is any untoward incident, the responsibility will be pinned on parents for hiring the illegal vans as schools are not be accountable for those." Ajri has been sensitizing parents about the school bus policy. "Every vehicle has to maintain safety standards. But the security features are missing in illegal vans," he said.

An RTO official pointed out inan accident, parents can't claim damages if the vehicle is illegal. "Use authorized school vans," he appealed.

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Shah Rukh Khan's security beefed up after reports of threat from gangster

MUMBAI: The Mumbai police on Tuesday confirmed reports that security for actor Shah Rukh Khan had been beefed up following threats from the underworld.

Four rounds were fired outside Bollywood producer Karim Morani's Juhu residence recently. According to reports, a note was found at the site which allegedly said 'SRK will be the next target'.

READ ALSO: Firing outside film producer and 2G scam accused Karim Morani's house

The actor already has security cover which has now been heightened.

Police suspect gangster Ravi Pujari is behind the threat.

READ ALSO: 'Gangster ordered firing on film producer's home as warning'


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Shah Rukh Khan's security beefed up after underworld threat

MUMBAI: Police security at the residence of actor Shah Rukh Khan has been beefed up after three unidentified men fired three rounds outside the residence of film producer Karim Morani on Saturday.

A police source said that there was a threat to the actor and so they increased security outside his bungalow in Bandra (West) on Monday.

However, zonal deputy commissioner of police Satya Narayan Chaudhary said, "We don't have any information of a threat to Khan. We haven't received any such complaint."

Around 11pm on Saturday, three men astride a motorcycle slowed down in front of the Morani family's four-storey house in Juhu, shot three rounds and sped away. One bullet scraped a sedan parked outside and got lodged into a tree. The remaining hit a window. Nobody was injured. The gunfire was however "not observed" on Saturday night by the two security guards or by anyone else.

The next morning, the guards noticed the graze mark on the vehicle and the crack in the window, and informed the Juhu police. The police studied the building's CCTV footage and came across the hazy frames showing the bike-borne men and a firearm going off thrice. A case of 'attempt to murder' was registered on Sunday.

READ ALSO: 'Gangster ordered firing on film producer's home as warning'

The Morani family has long-standing ties with Bollywood. Fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari has been threatening the family demanding the overseas rights of an upcoming Shah Rukh Khan-starrer film. Karim Morani reportedly told the gangster that they were not handling the film overseas.

Karim was threatened by the fugitive mobster a few months ago as well. When the gangster was told that Karim's company did not own the overseas rights, he repeated the demand to other members of the Morani family — only to be rebuffed again.


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Suspension of DIG Sunil Paraskar, accused of raping Mumbai model, likely

MUMBAI: Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has not yet given his consent to go ahead with the suspension of a rape-accused DIG Sunil Paraskar.

Maharashtra home department has proposed suspension of deputy inspector general of police Sunil Paraskar who has been accused of rape and molestation by a model based in Mumbai.

"The proposal to suspend Paraskar has been sent to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan whose final nod is awaited," a home ministry official told TOI.

A court here had recently granted him pre-arrest bail, observing the complainant's behaviour and her email exchange with him suggested consent.

Paraskar filed pre-arrest bail application on July 25, a week after an FIR was registered against him by suburban Malwani Police under sections 376(2)(rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354(D) (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code, PTI reported.

The complainant, a 25-year-old model, alleged that Paraskar (57) molested and sexually assaulted her on two occasions in December 2013. According to her, she had met Paraskar first in 2012 when he was Additional Commissioner of Police with regard to a case.

Paraskar's lawyer argued that the allegations were false and pointed to the delay in registration of FIR.

(Inputs from PTI)

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HC issues contempt notice to top Maharashtra babu

MUMBAI: Bombay High Court on Tuesday issued a notice for contempt of court against principal secretary, State Home Department. Court was miffed that the government has not taken a decision as yet on recommendations made in three interim reports of Dharmadhikari Committee on safety of women.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Girish Kulkarni heard a clutch of public interest litigation which were filed following a woman's molestation on a train between Nerul and Juinagar in the early hours of June 9, 2011. At last hearing on July 30, 2014 the government was directed to file an affidavit stating steps taken on the Dharmadhikari report.

When the matter was called out, the government's advocate sought a day's adjournment. But the judges pointed our that on June 25, 2013 the government had given an undertaking that it will take a decision on the recommendations on or before August 31, 2013. They said " prima facie the State government has not complied" with it. They directed a notice to be issued to the principal secretary " calling upon him to show cause why action for contempt should not be taken against him." The matter is posted on August 29.

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HC allows Ganesh immersion parking on Shivaji Park

MUMBAI: Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed parking of vehicles on Shivaji Park during the three days of Ganesh immersion.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sonak heard applications by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and State government to allow parking on September 2, 4 and 8. BMC's counsel S U Kamdar said there will be hundreds of trucks arriving for immersion at the Dadar beach. He said it will be impossible to accommodate so many vehicles and the situation will be chaotic.

Wecom Trust, on whose petition HC in May 2010 declared the park a silence zone and in August 2011 banned parking, opposed grant of permission. Its advocates told the court that BMC and State come to court for permission on the eve of the festival. The judges have also directed restoration of the park and a subsequent meeting of the authorities to review the restoration work. They have posted the next hearing on November 30 to take up Wecom's plea to find solution to the parking problem.

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Fisherwoman kills 65-year-old husband in Bhayander

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 25 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A 60-year-old fisher woman from Bhayander has been arrested for allegedly killing her 65-year-old husband last week.

Rocky Nunes a retired man was found dead in his Palikhadi home, Utan, Bhayander (west) on August 21. The body was discovered by his wife Genevieve when she returned from the market after selling fish at around 4pm.

Genevieve had told the Utan coastal police that Rocky was found lying in a pool of blood in the bedroom. A blood soaked sickle was lying near the body. The couple's elder son was away at work when the murder took place. Their younger son stays separately. The door was locked from outside when she got home, she told the police.

Genevieve told the police that she had left home to buy fish at around 5.30am and had gone to the market to sell them.The police on talking to the relatives and neighbours found that the couple frequently fought over money matters.

Rocky had retired from a private company and had invested all his money in bank deposits and bonds. Rocky used to lend money on interest but would not contribute to the daily household expenses. Genevieve used to sell fish and bear the household expenses.

On August 21, after a fight over money before she stepped out for work, Genevieve pulled out the sickle and assaulted him on his head. She then locked the main door and left. The autopsy confirmed that the death had occurred before Genevieve claimed to have left for work.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Genevieve,Fisher,Bhayander


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BJP MP Kirit Somaiya booked for assaulting Mumbai cop

MUMBAI: Navghar police in Mulund (east) have registered a case against the BJP MP Kirit Somaiya reportedly indulging in a heated discussion with a police inspector and later assaulting him in the police station.

The incident occurred on August 21 when Somaiya was called by the police for an inquiry into the case registered against him and his party workers and the NCP party workers after they clashed on April 16.

Inspector SR Munde is the investigating officer in that matter.

Munde had called Somaiya to the police station for enquiry when the offence occurred.

Deputy commissioner of police (Zone Vll), Vinaykumar Rathod, confirmed to TOI that a case has been registered against the BJP MP. "Somaiya has been booked for assaulting an inspector on duty. He was called to the police station last week for an inquiry when he committed the offence," said Rathod.

Navghar police inspector Ganesh Gaikwad said a case under Indian Penal Code sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from his duty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) has been registered against Somaiya.

"Initially the party workers came to the police station after Somaiya was called. He landed at the police station at 3pm on August 21 and created ruckus. The case was registered after carrying out probe," said Gaikwad.

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CISF jawan goes missing from his watchtower at JNPT

NAVI MUMBAI: A 27-year-old Central Industrial Security Force jawan posted at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Nhava Sheva, mysteriously went missing from the watchtower where he was posted on guard duty on Monday.

Sheva police officials have informed that the jawan, whose first name is stated to be Saida, had reportedly called up his CISF security control room at JNPT at 5.45am stating that some persons were aggressively coming towards him to beat him up. After that his mobile phone went in the switched-off mode and he also physically went missing.

''The CISF jawan reportedly began his morning duty at 5am at the watchtower which is located just outside the JNPT precincts. At 5.45am he called up his security control room seeking immediate help as four men were reportedly moving towards him to beat him up. However, when the additional security guards rushed to the watch tower, he was missing from his post,'' said the assistant commissioner of police, Shashikant Borate.

Further investigation is on by Sheva police to trace the missing CISF jawan who had recently joined duty at the JNPT area.

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First seaplane service from Mumbai takes off for Lonavala

MUMBAI: The Mumbai-Lonavla seaplane service, which launched on Monday from Juhu aerodrome, was delayed by almost an hour and 30 minutes due to visibility issues and an enthusiastic media contingent, which crowded around the plane clicking photos. " The Air Traffic Control gave us a ten-minute clearance around 11am but since we couldn't clear the space, we missed that time slot," explained Mansi Shirodkar, who is handling the public relations for Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd (Mehair), which launched the service along with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.

While seven passengers boarded the Cessna 208 Amphibian at 11.55am, only three returned around two hours later to a red carpet - or rather, red staircase - welcome. Real estate consultant, Vishesh Verma, described the experience as "superb" and "amazing". The plane, which flies at a height of about 7,000 ft, gives passengers a bird's-eye view of the city. "It's different from flying in a normal aircraft because the clouds are all around you and you can see what you are flying over the entire time," added Verma.

READ ALSO: Mumbai's seaplane service may take off by February

The plane, which landed on Pawana dam in Lonavla, was manned by Captain Priyanka Manuja, who has been flying sea planes for Mehair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for the last three years. After landing on the dam, passengers were whisked to a small boat club via a speed boat. But even while alighting, none of them showed the slightest hint of trepidation though the youngest passenger was only nine. " Everyone loved it and the nine-year-old was the most excited passenger on board," said Manuja.

An Indian resident looks on as the first commercial seaplane in the state of Maharashtra prepares to take off from the Juhu Aerodrome in Mumbai on August 25, 2014. The service will connect Mumbai with Pawana Lake in the popular tourist destination of Lonavala. (AFP Photo)

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CII food and beverage exhibition receives good response

MUMBAI: New product innovation and technologies were seen at 5th edition of CII Food and Beverage exhibition. The exhibition this year is host to companies catering products for ware housing, cold storage, packaging, affluent treatment, automation , information technology, raw material and industries providing end to end solutions. The exhibition on its first day of inauguration saw a foot fall of 2000+ and the response to day 2 continues to be overwhelming.

Sudhir Kumar Goel, IAS, additional chief secretary - Agriculture and Marketing, Government of Maharashtra during his interaction with the industry at the food and Bev summit mentioned that there is a need for industry and government to come together and work cohesively towards developing a win-win model for the entire value chain. He added that government of Maharashtra is currently working with 25 industries which are procuring directly from farmers and also training them with best practices of cultivation. Speaking about the role of SMEs in the industry he mentioned that this group can facilitate Farm Producing Organizations (FPOs) in branding and marketing activities by be a platform to cater needs of large industries and be an integral part of the value chain.

Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar who is also well known as a restaurateur, senior chef oat Hotel Novotel in Juhu and runs cookery shows like Snack Attack on Zee Khana Khazana on his visit to the exhibition stated that exhibitions like this connect chefs with new ingredients and technology for improvising cooking methods. Speaking about the changes in the consumption pattern Mr Brar stated that in the next five years India might see more consumption of processed food. He further added that food processing while optimizing recourses should focus on retaining the taste and nutritional value of the processed food and price it right to make it a viable option.

Assocom Institute of Bakery Technology & Management (AIBTM) is conducting bakery workshops and Day 1 and day 2. AIBTM is also organizing competitions for the student groups visiting the exhibition.

Country of Israel which is a partner country to the expo launched ready to eat food products which are pure vegetarian a but have a flavor of non vegetarian food to it. The products which are pure vegetarian do not even contain egg in its ingredients and is focused specially at the Indian consumer. The country is also welcoming distributors and meeting investors at their stall at the expo. Another Country stall from Gambia is displaying products in the category of sugar free ingredients.

Lipra Nutriscience, manufacturing company of health & wellness products launched distinct products under its wellness products range. The company launched Green Coffee and Turmeric Juice in the processed form at the expo. It also stated that product like green coffee is low on caffeine content and rich in nutritional value.

Gadre Marine, a processing and packaging unit for frozen marine products and caters ready to eat marine products under the bands of JUS-COOK and JUS-LIKE. At the expo in the JUS-COOK brand the company launched Tilapia fish fillets a fresh water fish which was originated in Egypt and later been popularized in the American markets as mud fish in Indian markets. The company also suggested that the packing and technology used gives the product a life span of 1 year from the date of manufacturing.

Kaveri Foods an off shoot of Kaveri Enterprises an edible oil business has come out with ready to eat Indian food product called RefriFresh. The company believes that it is time for ready to eat Indian delicacies to foray into the markets. The company has come out with products like frozen Idli, Sambar, Chutney, Rawa idli and array of south Indian delicacies. The frozen products have a shelf life of 60 days.

Eureka Forbes Ltd a well known name in the hygiene industry has displayed its new product called 'Pneumatic Transfer System' is based upon vacuum process in which the granular products are being transported from point A to Point B in close trap with reduced wastage and minimum dust generation. Hence helping food processing industry to create more safe, hygiene and productive atmosphere.

Company known as ATAGO showcased one simple compact simple hand held digital model in various variants as ATAGO PAL-Coffee, ATAGO PAL-Whisky/Vodka/Brandy/Gin and ATAGO PAL-Salt. These products have various applications like measuring the concentration of concentration of coffee, content of alcohol and concentration of salt in food. The company recently launched ATAGO Repo-1 it's most innovative technology for combing Polarimeter & Refractometer in one single product which measures angle of rotation, purity and brix concentration.

Participants like Coconut Board of India launched packaged sweet coconut water right from the belly of the coconuts from the famous State of Kerala and Maiyas launched badam milk and lassi in the form of packaged drinks which have shelf life of 60 days. Coffee Board of India introduced new flavor of filter coffee and also did a sampling of the same at the expo.

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Fisherwoman kills 65-year-old husband in Bhayander

MUMBAI: A 60-year-old fisher woman from Bhayander has been arrested for allegedly killing her 65-year-old husband last week.

Rocky Nunes a retired man was found dead in his Palikhadi home, Utan, Bhayander (west) on August 21. The body was discovered by his wife Genevieve when she returned from the market after selling fish at around 4pm.

Genevieve had told the Utan coastal police that Rocky was found lying in a pool of blood in the bedroom. A blood soaked sickle was lying near the body. The couple's elder son was away at work when the murder took place. Their younger son stays separately. The door was locked from outside when she got home, she told the police.

Genevieve told the police that she had left home to buy fish at around 5.30am and had gone to the market to sell them.The police on talking to the relatives and neighbours found that the couple frequently fought over money matters.

Rocky had retired from a private company and had invested all his money in bank deposits and bonds. Rocky used to lend money on interest but would not contribute to the daily household expenses. Genevieve used to sell fish and bear the household expenses.

On August 21, after a fight over money before she stepped out for work, Genevieve pulled out the sickle and assaulted him on his head. She then locked the main door and left. The autopsy confirmed that the death had occurred before Genevieve claimed to have left for work.

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Schools get education dept help to identify learning disability students

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 24 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The state education department has joined the Society for Rehabilitation of Crippled Children's (SRCC) Centre for Child Development to spread awareness about learning disability (LD) among city schools.

Addressing the first in the series of workshops for 100 school principals on Saturday, state education secretary Ashwini Bhide said, "While trying to understand why a student drops out from school, causes such as economic weakness, physical disability and the like are very easy to identify. But the difficult task is to identify differences in the ability to learn."

The state education department has extended its support to the Centre for Child Development's initiative to conduct workshops for principals and spread awareness about LD. The workshops will reach out to all schools in the city over the next one year.

Senior psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty and clinical psychologist Samindara Sawant will prepare a tool kit for principals to help them create awareness among their teachers. Emphasizing the need identify LD at an early age, Sawant said, "The gap between what you think the child can do and what he/she is actually doing is the biggest sign for a teacher. It sometimes takes a few years of counselling before the parents come to terms with it but teachers can start giving provisions to the students even without a formal certification to make sure the child is not demoralized."

Principals also expressed the need to extend the provisions available to students with LD to slow learners (children with below average intelligence) as they can currently avail only 30 minutes extra during an exam.

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Thane markets flooded with Ganpati decorations

MUMBAI: Many families in the city are getting ready to welcome their favourite elephant-headed God into their homes during this Ganeshotsav. The markets in Thane are flooded with mandap decorations.

Here is what we is really popular this year:

Creative asanas
There are very creative asanas for Ganpati this year. Made of thermacol, these are not just colourful and attractive, each has a unique finish, too.

Eco-friendly throne models
Eco-friendly models (above, right), made with real flowers, leaves and ferns, are also available.

Flower decorations
Flowers, both fresh and synthetic, are an important part of the Ganpati decorations.

Creative jewellery
Though jewellery for Ganpati is available every year, the sheer variety this year is noteworthy. They are light and have innovative designs, too. Not just metal, even cloth mukuts (crowns) are available in different colours.

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Anita Dongre showcases 'India Modern' at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 in Mumbai

Indian heritage was interpreted in a modern context by designer Anita Dongre, who showcased her latest collection at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 in Mumbai.

Presented by Taj Mahal A Flavour of Darjeeling, the collection, called `India Modern', was replete with beautiful Indian craft. The brand, which has long been a symbol of perfection, passion and unmatched finesse, has always associated with master craftsmen who display these traits and are icons of excellence in their respective fields. It has always also associated itself with classical music, which is why it was no surprise to see sitar maestro Niladri Kumar, who is also the brand ambassador of Taj Mahal A Flavour of Darjeeling, playing live at the show. Inspired by the brand, he had composed a special raag called "Raag Darjeeling" and the models walked to the notes of this raag during Anita's show.


Said Geetu Verma (executive director foods and refreshments, HUL), "Taj Mahal - A Flavour of Darjeeling is our best ever tea and captures the flavour of Darjeeling without compromising on the strength of the tea." Added Anita, "It is heritage yet contemporary and is a connoisseur's choice, which is why I am associated with the brand."
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8 children rescued from leather factory in Mumbai

MUMBAI: The Agripada police on Saturday rescued eight minors from a leather factory in Madanpura in Byculla and arrested the three owners of the factory.

The Agripada police recently received tip off that a leather goods manufacturing factory in Rangwala compound in near Byculla were employing minor children in their factory. Police team led by A Lalbaig and his staff raided Rahmani compound in Byculla and rescued eight children. ``Most of them rescued were of age ranging from 13 to 16. We have booked three owners of the factory under the Child labour Act and accused have been remanded.'' Said an officer of Agripada. While the rescued childrens have been send to rehabilitation home, police have arrested three factory owners Mohammed Irshad (19), Mohammed Shaikh (34) and Mohammed Churiyar (32).

During investigations it transpired that the accused were not only engaged minors in their leather factory but were also under paid.

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Security guards booked under Arms Act in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Eight natives of Jammu & Kashmir including a security supervisor of a security firm who without registering their arms license in Maharashtra, were using their weapons for commercial purpose were arrested by the city crime branch.

Crime branch unit 8 have arrested Basharat Khan (26), Gul Mohammed (48), Moghal Mohammed (32), Mohammed Nizamuddian (25), Shahzaad Iqbal (22), Sarfaraz Mughal (23), Mohammed Lon (27) and Rajkumar Sharma (37).

Sharma is the security supervisor of Trans security private limited. All have been booked under Arms Act and police are trying to trace another one dozen guards who have gone underground fearing arrest.

Sources said that the crime branch unit 8, received tip-off that Trans securities were recruiting people from Jammu & Kashmir without registering their weapons with Mumbai Police. Based on this police on Friday arrested one Premchand Yadav who spilled the beans on the other accused. Police said as there is unemployment in valley, aspiring young youths are migrating towards cities particularly Mumbai and Delhi.

" During probe it has transpired that security firms are misusing and misguiding the Kashmiri youths by giving them lucrative offers to those who possess arms licenses. The Kashmir government has allotted arms license to many for their personal protection as they live in vulnerable valleys but the security firms are hiring them and despite clear cut superme court orders on the arm license, they are not registering their arms with city they are migrating and secondly the personal weapon cannot be used for commercial puposes.''said an officer.

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No action against lawyers for misconduct in almost a decade, RTI query reveals

MUMBAI: Lawyers argue loud and strong when it comes to misconduct by people in other professions in cases they represent, but when it comes to their own ilk, disciplinary action is non-existent, the State Bar Council revealed in a reply to a Right to Information query. The Bar Council said it receives about 250 complaints against advocates for misconduct each year.

The Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa which has over 1.25 lakh advocates enrolled with it has not taken any disciplinary action so far in the last five years. The secretary of the state bar council Pravin Ranpise declared this in a reply last November to an application made by an activist Alka Shah on complaints received and action taken against lawyers.

The Bar council said it does take ''serious disciplinary action against advocates who violate the ethics code''. It however also said that it had taken ''no action as required since 2005, has been taken till date''.

Shah had sought details last year but her query was based on a 2007 Bar Council order which has left a senior citizen still doing the rounds for justice against a lawyer's misconduct. In a complaint against a Housing society lawyer who wrote allegedly libellous mail about a member of the Venus Co-op Housing society in Worli, the Bar Council had in 2007 sought a court order with a guilty verdict first in order to take action against the advocate.

Shah, who also makes eco-friendly Ganesha idols, said, "it is shocking that an apex body of lawyers instead of taking disciplinary action against an advocate demands that a regular must first hold him guilty for defamation. Is it trying to protect its own kind?" She had asked the Council if it was permissible for advocates to use "defamatory and derogatory language in print against an opposite party''. The Bar Council said it was clearly not permissible for lawyers to use defamatory language. It also clarified that no conviction order from a court is mandatory before it could take disciplinary action against a lawyer.

The Worli flat owner, a well-known RTI activist himself, meanwhile then filed a defamation case against the lawyer and pursued the matter for three years from metropolitan court to sessions to the Bombay high court where Justice R P Sondurbaldota in 2010 finally held that there was no case for quashing as the "imputations made are per se defamatory." In 2011, armed with the HC order, he again moved the Bar Council against the advocate, but till date has had no hearing in it.

Given this history, the lawyer who recently gave the police, statements against his own former client, the small-time model, who has accused DIG Sunil Paraskar of repeated rape, may have nothing to worry about say a section of legal fraternity.

Asif Quereshi, the newly appointed chairperson of the State Bar Council when contacted by the TOI said that he had received a complaint from Susieben Shah, chairperson of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women, against advocate Rizwan Siddiqui for making public, sensitive information allegedly amounting to professional misconduct. "I have immediately called for an emergency meeting of the disciplinary committee on August 23 to discuss this complaint,'' he said adding, ''We will have to first verify the complaint and will then take action as required.'' He said many complaints are still pending.

Lawyers in the city expressed shock and dismay that professional ethics was seen to be taking a toss. "It is against professional ethics and rules of conduct to squeal on a client and the Bar Council should take swift action if complaint is proved,'' said advocate Sujay Kantawala.

Senior lawyer Niteen Pradhan chief of the privileged committee of the state bar council since 2012 said lawyers are held at higher standard of ethics by the public and law. "Lawyers are not meant to breach the confidential and privileged communication they share with the clients, which includes ex-clients. Such a prohibition is mandated by law.'' As privileged committee chairperson, he said, ''we even come across cases where a person portrays himself wrongly as a lawyer without a law degree or enrolment and misbehaves in court by abusing other lawyers, clients and even at time magistrates.'' A separate disciplinary committee has to deal with all such cases and actions permitted ranges from a simple reprimand to removal from the bar. A senior bar council functionary said, ''the Bar council does initiate action and issues notices to advocates and conducts inquiries and where necessary action is taken.''

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Ranes get conditional bail in extortion case

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 23 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI/MAPUSA: A special trial court judge in Goa on Friday granted anticipatory bail to leader of opposition Pratapsingh Rane and his legislator son Vishwajit in an alleged bribery case over green clearance to a mining company.

Special CBI court judge P V Savaikar, presiding over anti-corruption cases in Mapusa, gave the Ranes pre-arrest bail of Rs 1 lakh each after hearing their counsel as well as special public prosecutor Prasad Kirtani, who strongly opposed their plea.

The Ranes were booked by police for allegedly accepting crores of rupees to facilitate permissions for an iron ore mining lease. A special investigation team (SIT), which is probing a Rs 35,000 crore illegal mining scam, filed the FIR after coming across a media interview given by mining lease operator Bhalchandra Naik and later recording his statement.

Naik had alleged the Ranes had demanded Rs 10 crore to ensure there was no objection for environmental clearance for mining activity in Poriem, their constituency. He alleged Rs 6 crore was paid to Vishwajit.

Pratapsingh Rane has been in active politics of Goa for nearly five decades and has been the chief minister five times.

The FIR was filed on July 3 for extortion and cheating offences as well as under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The court had on July 5 granted the Ranes interim protection against arrest in the pre-arrest bail plea. The government had opposed his plea, saying the FIR was in the initial stages of investigation and the plea was premature.

The court directed the Ranes not to leave Goa without its permission and not make inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case.


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Engineeringg colleges prepare students for placement season with mock tests, language training

MUMBAI: Placement for the class of 2015 across engineering colleges of the country began long before companies came to campuses. While the season looks upbeat, there is a lot that has gone into ushering in optimism at institutes. This year, colleges have reached out to many more companies, held preparatory sessions, mock interviews, buddy talks and conducted language training for their students.

From inviting young alumni to "chat" with the current batch of those who are sitting for the interview to tying up with professional testing agencies, from hiring experts who can power up resumes to those who can teach interview etiquette, colleges want their graduates to be better prepared for placements.

This year, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay introduced a resume session, under which every post-graduate candidate's resume was assessed and strengthened. "We noticed that over the years, placement statistics of post-graduate students were relatively weaker than those of undergraduate students. To bridge that gap, we tried to figure out the differences, and one thing we noticed was resume. Hence, to strengthen their resume, we conducted one-on-one resume feedback session with them," said Ujjwal Banthia, a placement manager.

Three career-guiding firms conducted assessments for all 1,500-plus students. Assessments included mock group discussions and mock personal interviews. Workshops introduced techniques like mind mapping to help students gear up for interviews; these sessions were conducted by professional career and image consultants

While the IITs have started the placement preparatory activities, other colleges are not far behind. At LD Engineering, Ahmedabad, "We are preparing our students for PPOs every weekend through training on group discussions, tests, and interview etiquette by experts from companies," said Kunal Bhoyania, placement officer.

In many colleges, training begins early in the four-year programme. This year VIT University, Vellore, is starting an advanced placement training programme for students from the very first year. "We've drawn up the training modules, including coaching for aptitude tests and personality development classes to keep them engaged during weekends," placement officer V Samuel Rajkumar said.

At Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT), rules for placement and training have been relaxed. In the past, only students with a first class were allowed to appear for campus interviews, but SVNIT is now allowing those with a second class to also appear for campus placement.

"We conduct training sessions for eligible students to prepare them for interviews. We take industry help to hone the skills of students; candidates are made to realize what a recruiter is looking for. Students are also made aware of how to highlight their brightest side," said D V Bhatt, head, training and placement cell at SVNIT.

BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, has tied up with a company which provides online tests and questions for practice before the real placements begin. "There are about 5,000 questions and 15 tests the students can take. These are the kinds that candidates have to face for the placement interviews. They can identify their strengths and work on the weak areas. Online learning is the new trend here," said H S Jagadish, coordinator of team placement in BMS. At PESIT, the college has a buddy system for preparing students for placements. Two seniors share their experiences of placements interviews to a group of 15 juniors. This happens after class hours as well as online.


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Hitting students unacceptable: CISCE

MUMBAI: The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) has issued an advisory asking all its schools to eliminate corporal punishment. The advisory, drafted by the human resource development (HRD) ministry, which identified the need to stop teachers from using corporal punishment, was adopted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in May.

"Punishing children is regarded as normal and acceptable in many settings - including educational institutions... It is widely used by teachers regardless of its evident lack of effectiveness and potentially damaging side-effects," said the advisory.

The advisory informs schools of the adverse effects of corporal punishment on children. "When adults use corporal punishment, it teaches children that hitting is an acceptable means of dealing with conflict and may lead to adverse physical, psychological and educational outcomes - including increased aggressive and destructive behaviour, increased drop-out rate, school avoidance, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and retaliation against teachers - that emotionally scar children for life," it says.

Outlining the need for positive engagements, it has urged schools to include life skills education, empathy building and teaching the students to cope with emotions and stress.

While many schools in the city have already asked teachers to refrain from corporal punishment, principals too had felt the need for guidelines. "There was a need for a code of conduct in place which outlines what is expected out of the students and also how the schools must deal with bad behaviour," said Fr Kenneth Misquitta, principal, St Mary's School (ICSE), Mazgaon. "Seeking help from parents is also important."

Chandrakanta Pathak, principal, HVB Global Academy, Marine Drive, said: "We first speak to the child and try to find the reason for a particular behaviour. If the problem continues, we inform the parents. This is usually the best thing, but if that doesn't work either, we consult our school counsellors who try to address the issue at a professional level."

Vilas Parab, a teacher at Balmohan Vidyamandir, Dadar, said: "It always works to engage students in constructive activities during free time so that their energy is channelled."

The HRD ministry has suggested guidelines for affirmative action in schools towards the positive development of children. Schools are advised to provide opportunities for children from different backgrounds to learn psychosocial skills. They are also advised to understand a child's behaviour as a product of these interactions, which will help teachers understand that the child needs help rather than punishment.

Sketching out a framework for teachers and school heads to deal with difficult situations in school, it advises that one must not lose temper, avoid involving other students, involve the parents, call for assistance and actively listen to the child, among other things. "A difficult situation can also be resolved by a triangulation between the student/family, the teacher/school administration and a student council," says the advisory. "A more difficult situation then may not be so much a discipline issue but a psychological one that needs professional attention and care."


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UPA II cleared Adani project in Maharashtra forest

MUMBAI: Even as Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had raised his voice against undue favours extended to the Adani group, it has transpired that the UPA government had quietly cleared a proposal for allotment of 25 hectares of protected forest land for laying transmission lines from Tiroda to Warora in the Vidarbha region.

A senior bureaucrat said that following a proposal submitted by the principal chief conservator of forest on December 12, 2011, the state government had knocked on the doors of the ministry of environment and forest on January 27, 2012 for allotment of forest land to the Adani power Maharashtra Ltd. "The Adani group was given principle approval by the Centre on June 22, 2012. Then certain conditions were laid down.On complying with the conditions, a final order for al lotment of land was issued on August 19, 2014," he said.

The Adani group, after it was allotted nearly 382 hectares of land by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation in Gondia, the home town of senior NCP leader Praful Patel, had set up 1,980MW power plant at the cost of Rs 8,000 crore.

"No rules were flouted, land was allotted to the Adani group in keeping with existing guidelines and procedure," he said.

The group had approached the state forest department for allotment of adequate land for laying transmission lines in Nagpur, Wardha, Bhandara, Gondia and Chandrapur dis tricts. "The actual transmission line will be between Tiroda and Warora, but it will pass through these areas," he said.

On the basis of the recommendations of the principal chief conservator, the proposal was submitted to the Centre on January 27, 2012 and the final approval was given on June 22, 2012.

"We feel the new transmission line from Tiroda to Warora will strengthen the transmission system in Maharashtra and as such, it was for the benefit of the general public. It's a project of public importance," the bureaucrat said. Stating the Adanis have complied with all the conditions prescribed by the Centre, the bureaucrat said it had been made mandatory for the firm to publish the entire order of forest clearances granted in verbatim, along with the details of the land surveys and legal status of each survey etc."Government is keen on complete transparency in allotment of forest land." he said.


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HC releases Rs 15.41 lakh spent on securing Shakti Mills

MUMBAI: Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay high court that Public Works Department had recently spent Rs 15.41 lakh to build a boundary wall, barbed wire fencing, security cabin and the main gate of the defunct Shakti Mills where a photojournalist and a telephone operator were gang-raped in separate incidents last year.

Amicus curaie (friend of the court) Naushad Engineer pleaded that the amount may be released from the corpus of the official liquidator, who had visited the site and inspected the work carried out by the PWD.

Accordingly, justice S J Kathawala on Thursday approved the release of this amount from the funds held by the official liquidator.

The court was informed that the PWD had completed securing of the premises which was ordered soon after the gang rape cases in June and August last year.

The work was to be carried out in three phases. The first two phases—clearing the shrubbery and barbed wire fencing-are over. The third one involving electrification of the compound wall is underway.

According to PWD, the total expenses for cleaning and securing the premises in Shakti Mills Compound would be to the tune of Rs 1.58 crore.

The company, owned by the Poddar family, is under liquidation.

Since the mill had turned deserted, incidents of gang rape took place on the premises, following which steps were initiated to secure the place and ensure that the entire area is well-lit during the night.

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